From 40 to 50

Goal 1: Continuing To Do What We Do Best:

High-Quality Research, Groundbreaking Theory, and Innovative Action Programs


Researchers and project directors have always epitomized what distinguishes the Wellesley Centers for Women as a place of excellence and innovation in research, theory, and action. Individual researchers and research teams as well as project directors and their teams have defined our agenda through their passionate creativity and scholarly expertise. Over the course of our 40-year history, WCW experts have contributed substantively to key national and international dialogues and problem-solving efforts, as well as supported local and regional efforts to improve the lives of communities. WCW will continue to provide a hospitable, inclusive, and supportive environment for individual scholars, research teams, and project directors and their teams to undertake meaningful work that advances gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing. In the years to come, we will work to ensure that WCW attracts and retains researchers of the highest caliber, with particular attention on recruiting the next generation and increasing our institutional sustainability.

Currently, WCW researchers are engaged in research and evaluation in the following key thematic areas, which we expect to anchor our work for the next decade:


  • Early Education and Child Care
  • Quality Out-of-School Time
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Gender Equity in Education
  • Racial Equity, Social Justice Education, and Curriculum Change
  • Trauma-Informed Perspectives on Academic Achievement
  • Mindfulness and Learning in Children


Economic Security

  • Employment, Health, and Wellbeing
  • Low-Income Women and Economic Security
  • Working Families, Family Leave Policy, and Carework
  • Alternatives to Incarceration for Low-Income Women


Mental Health

  • Primary Prevention of Depression
  • Mental Health Care for Survivors of Fistula
  • Relational-Cultural Theory


Youth and Adolescent Development

  •  Adolescent Sexuality and Family Communication
  • Adolescent Girls and Education
  • Youth and Social Media
  • Trauma-Informed Perspectives on Adolescent Substance Use

Gender-Based Violence

  • Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Schools


In addition, WCW is home to four long-standing and highly successful action programs that engage in curriculum development and training, professional development, evaluation, field building, and theory building:

  • The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI)
  • The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST)
  • The National S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity)
  • Open Circle

We also proudly publish the Women’s Review of Books, now in its fourth decade.

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Strategic Plan

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